Barry Saunders, singer and songwriter for the long-running Warratahs, readily admits it's more difficult to get the band back on the road as they will be soon, in support of Runaway Days, their first new studio album in nine years.
"We're all harder to get out of home but we still love playing. We all love each other in our own funny ways, but the touring does get harder. Once you get on a roll it's great but it does have its discomforts, little things like just having some space. As you get older you need a lot more space for yourself - at least I do.
"Separate motel rooms, always have had. That's why we've got no money," he laughs.
Although the days of extensive touring are over, says Saunders, he is enthusiastic about taking their new songs to the audience the band has built up over 25 years and six previous albums.
He sounds almost embarrassed when saying that most of the new album was recorded in one day at the Depot in Devonport. "We sound like a bunch of cheapskates, but every time we try to assemble albums it doesn't work for us. We had a couple of albums we put together like a Lego set but it just didn't work.
"We're primarily a band that plays together and so we can do that. All I had was a whole lot of lyrics I was sitting on the floor with. Everything we did went through just a maximum of three times.
"For some reason we were just all lined up that day, we were out of town and felt good together. It was just one of those days, and they're not all like that."
The 10 originals (and a folksy cover of Ring of Fire with Caroline Easther) include songs about the Christchurch earthquake (the urgent Creedence-like Day in a Million), tough times on the road when they were touring in Australia (Wheel Inside) and Faraway Sun, about a man distant from his life and the world around him, one he finds hard to explain.
"It's a feeling song, maybe that time in New Zealand a few years ago with the recession. Everything seemed to be down and also a time when people decided there was only going to be bad news on TV.
"I felt it was hard to find any light in the world, and when you've got kids and you see them and their friends you wonder how that whole tone affects them.
"It was probably a lot to do with me too. There's that line, 'all the people in the faraway towns are looking for the light'. That was me." His consideration of the Christchurch quake comes from direct experience and sidesteps sentimentality.
"I was in Lyttelton when we got hit and was one of the ones that got out. I gave a young woman a lift that day before they closed off the road. She had a son out at Governors Bay. Her name was Saraphine and she's in the song, although I never saw her again. It was a desperate time and I hope that is in there somewhere ... I hadn't written a schmaltzy song about the spire falling down or something. I just wrote what I felt."
Although Saunders has released solo albums over the decades he says it was important this be a Warratahs' album to keep them vital and moving ahead. "This might sound a bit precious, but I want us to be an older band and still doing good things. It's good to still try to be productive and make imagery, where someone could jump into the frame if they wanted to.
"That's essential to me, that we don't end up doing the recycling thing. We had hits a long time ago with Maureen and Hands of My Heart. We play all of them and it's cool. But I don't want to just end up peddling the blues. It's essential to keep being creative."